By Muhammad Nadeem
Where mountains ring the city
Dreams are dead
Dreams born to fight the ethos of Dark Ages
Steeped in an impish conflict
Elaborate arpeggios of assertions
Sizeable slices of the sun
Coaxed into life – unscathed
Cupped by sinewy walnut orchards and saffron fields
Or razor wires and bunkers, sandbags, tanks and guns?
A roaring fire
Or hum of a love song
Sung on the banks of sloshing Lidder River
Knock-kneed beneath crimson Chinars
When horizon is bleeding red
And bullets fired across Jehlum
Injuring Zabarwan’s aghast voices
Where moon doesn’t lift veil
Where dark nights confuse dreams with absolute nightmares
Sun doesn’t shine
Dreams as Trojan Horses
Take over nightmares in a home
Where there was little food and charcoal
Shadows of Time
How time could cast such long shadows!
What a pity!
How can life be so meaningless?
Invaluable for some
Life – A nightmare to live with!
As I lost The Madness in my heart
Like a tear in a lake!
Will I be going after misery now
in this noise of disbelief?
There is something more feral
In the grasp of silence
In the comfort of quite solitude
No smugness – just Blue Shadows
Some more will leave…
What am I holding on!
Have I to learn to live
In this new world of Emptiness –
With hollow rules
Is this the world, for the rest of my life?
No! (Exaltation) – a bugle cries
awoke my lamentations to ask;
Is to live in it to live in regret?
When all dreams:
that would bring more than mere contentment,
in my core:
to rest on my eyes
When sometimes the walls shake
When sometimes the doors tremble
A voice ice over my dreamy burning eyes –
Half blind with tears
Tears sweeping down my frozen cheeks…
And then I shout
Bring on your storms
Bring on your earthquakes
With hope of returning to the ‘desert’
Whose trees bear the poems of peace!
Where rivers of fire rush past
Where the shadows of time – flung across the snowy rocks.
Where I only whisper the prayers of Peace!
everywhere near me!
After 816 Nights
those weren’t the same eyes
same, but more like swelled
(as crying is a ritual for them)
and decorated with kohl
that wasn’t the same laugh
same, but more like baked
in the oven of pain
that wasn’t the same song
same, but more like refined
in the cradle of emptiness
that wasn’t the same you
same, but more like a person
i was waiting for
i’m not the same either
same, but more like a burden
of exhausted soul
wrapped in the flesh
of emotions and memories
of what was there before aleph
and what now is echoing in the mountains
numb in pain
hidden beneath your
soulful swelled crying eyes
beautified with darkness
of human soul
glittering with icy sparks
of blissful mourn
like when the world wept
as seeing you and me together again
it wasn’t the same togetherness
same, but more like a sad happiness
crying and screaming and shouting
to live again
to laugh again
to sing again
To see the exact stanza patterns, check the poems here: Three Poems on Kashmir – Muhammad Nadeem
Muhammad Nadeem is from Indian Occupied Kashmir. He is pursuing Postgraduate Studies in Mass Communication and Journalism from the University of Kashmir. He writes poetry and his poems have been previously published in Kashmir Life, Precya Review, Parallel Post, Greater Kashmir, etc.
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Read the latest issue of Cafe Dissensus Magazine on ‘JNU and Its Tradition(s) of Dissent’, edited by Malavika Binny, JNU, Delhi, India.